The best thing about that first film, however, is the best thing about the second film: Millicent Simmonds.
The best thing Nolan does with Dunkirk is to never lose focus. He is the mariner, Mr. Dawson, and we play the part of Peter. He knows the plane just by the sound, but he still lets us see it so we can remember too. Feeling like it might be hopeless, one might be tempted to speechify and let us know the significance of it all. He just moves towards the battle, but picks up one life at a time.
It’d be nice if he could find some way to get himself back into storytelling mode. Something similar to what Reiner has found with low budget gems like Flipped or anything that Jeff Nichols has done. It seems like he thinks he’s reached a status of auteur. These things happen when you make hack commercials for political figures or when you win Oscars for calculated half-truths.
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